Durham, N.C. — Some basketball fans who tune in to Thursday night's N.C. State vs. Duke game might wonder if they're watching the right channel.
To symbolize Duke’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices, recycling and water conservation, the Cameron Crazies - Duke’s enthusiastic student fans – will wear green shirts emblazoned with the slogan, “BLEED BLUE, LIVE GREEN,” the university announced.
Duke will purchase carbon offsets equivalent to the electricity, steam and transportation consumed by the game, working in partnership with the renewable-energy company NativeEnergy.
The Blue Devil mascot also will have a slight costume change during the game, and half-time entertainment will include a green theme. Game patrons will be encouraged to participate in Cameron's newly expanded recycling efforts, and to consider sharing rides and saving fuel the next time they come to a game.
It’s all part of Duke’s participation in “Focus the Nation,” a student-driven effort to call more attention to global climate change and to make campuses more sustainable environmentally, economically and socially.
Thursday’s event features a “critical mass” bicycle demonstration, a fair on the Bryan Center plaza and panel discussions throughout the day. More than 1,000 colleges and universities around the country are participating in the teach-in.
“Grassroots movements have a way of starting with the students,” said Jennie Dean, 24, a first-year graduate student in environmental management and one of the coordinators of Focus the Nation at Duke. “Global change is something we’re very concerned about, and it’s our future, so we’re doing something about it. We hope Focus the Nation starts a national dialogue.”
In many college communities, including Durham, the university represents the largest consumer of power and water. With thousands of residential units, fleets of vehicles and dozens, if not hundreds, of buildings, an American campus is like a city unto itself. But unlike most cities, a university can take sweeping steps to improve its environmental behavior.
“North Carolina is in the midst of a very sobering water crisis,” said Tavey McDaniel Capps, Duke’s sustainability coordinator. “We’ve been working quietly for several years now to improve the campus’ sustainability in water and energy use and to build more sustainable new buildings because it’s the right thing to do.”
N.C. State at Duke airs Thursday at 9 in high-definition on WRAL-TV.
Following the game on WRAL News, look for LIVE post-game reaction, including the coaches' press conferences.